Ohio State remembers what happened two years ago when it hosted Ohio and got off to a slow start. The Buckeyes, though, have done a good job in putting teams away this season.
The second-ranked Buckeyes hope to not need another late rally to defeat the Bobcats when they meet Saturday in Columbus.
After getting shut out in the opening quarter and trailing Ohio 14-12 heading into the fourth, Ohio State scored two touchdowns to come away with a 26-14 victory Sept. 6, 2008.
The Buckeyes have scored first in both wins thus far in 2010 and have held leads of 35 and 19, respectively, after three quarters in those games.
Ohio State (2-0) enters this matchup as a heavy favorite, but offensive lineman Justin Boren knows just how dangerous a game like this can be. He played for then-No. 5 Michigan when it was shocked by FCS team Appalachian State 34-32 on Sept. 1, 2007.
“You think the talent’s going to be so much better on a No. 1- or a No. 2-ranked team and there are better players, but everyone that’s playing college football is a good player,” he said. “You have guys at Ohio U. who can play on some of these bigger programs.”
The Buckeyes are coming off a 36-24 home victory over then-No. 12 Miami last Saturday, their first win against a ranked opponent in September since 2006.
“It felt great to be able to finally win one of those big early season matchups,” junior offensive lineman J.B. Shugarts said. “But we can’t get too comfortable over one game. There’s still a long way to go.”
Terrelle Pryor was 12 of 27 for 233 yards and a touchdown, and added 113 rushing yards and a score against the Hurricanes. It was the third time in his career in which he passed for at least 230 yards and ran for over 100.
“Terrelle was really focused all week, and was saying all the right things,” receiver Dane Sanzenbacher told the Buckeyes’ official website. “His confidence spread to the entire team.”
Devin Barclay tied a school record with five field goals and was named Big 10 co-special teams player of the week, while defensive lineman Dexter Larimore recorded his first sack. Larimore, a fifth-year senior, remembers the Buckeyes’ last game against the Bobcats (1-1).
“Obviously, there’s always that risk of that, coming after a big win against Miami and coming into a game against a team that, quote unquote, isn’t supposed to be able to contend with you,” he said. “Normally this would be a chance to overlook a team. But this year, with the guys and the leaders and the seniors we have, we’ll get our young guys ready to play on Saturday.”
Coach Jim Tressel is confident that his team won’t discount the Bobcats.
“The first thing that will make it difficult is OU will be tough and they’ll be good,” he said. “The second thing is reality, that when you play in an emotional game, is there that human tendency to take a deep breath? We kind of take the approach of showing the film, showing where we need to get better.”
After opening its season with a 33-10 win over Wofford, Ohio fell 20-13 to Toledo in its Mid-American conference opener last Saturday. Boo Jackson was 17 of 27 for 137 yards and a touchdown but was picked off three times.
Ohio is 0-14 against ranked teams and 0-6 in the all-time series with Ohio State.